For Immediate Release: 07/30/19
SPOKANE, Wash. – One Infinity Rehab team member shared her experience building the Otago Exercise Program in her local area during the annual Age + Action conference in Washington D.C.
Organized by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), Jessica “Kele” Murdin, Clinical Knowledge Broker at Infinity Rehab, presented with Tiffany Shubert, a prominent leader in implementing the Otago Exercise Program in the United States.
Shubert works closely with the NCOA to disseminate this program, originally created in New Zealand, throughout the states. Murdin is helping to expand the reach of this program in Spokane, Washington by training caregivers to continue these exercises after the individual they’re caring for is discharged from therapy.
As part of the Otago Exercise Program, patients meet with a certified Otago therapist upon discharge from physical therapy to continue their exercises at home.
To give patients the support needed, a new pilot program provides training for caregivers to help seniors continue their exercises over the next year. Physical therapists put caregivers and patients in touch with their local area agency on aging who then provide dates for training and follow-up with patient progress over the next year.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a 50 percent fall reduction when patients adhere to an exercise routine for a year following physical therapy.
“This is a critical step for this program to work,” Murdin said.
Murdin also expressed the importance of healthcare providers becoming involved in their local communities.
“True community involvement takes time,” Murdin said, “Physical therapists have so much to offer, and that’s where we can change population health.”
The Department of Health has offered free Otago training to therapists as part of a grant from the Administration for Community Living.
Murdin developed a curriculum on how to educate caregivers about the Otago program and fall prevention. The first Otago training for caregivers will take place September 10 in Spokane, Washington. Upon a referral from their loved one’s physical therapist, caregivers can attend this free training.
About Infinity Rehab
Based in Wilsonville, Oregon, Infinity Rehab began as an in-house physical, occupational, and speech therapies solution for the Avamere Family of Companies. Through the leadership of industry-recognized therapists, Infinity Rehab has grown to serve over 220 skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living communities across 17 states. Infinity Rehab is proud to be certified a Great Place to Work.
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